Monday, July 31, 2006

I am not an activist

Israel vs. Lebanon/Hezebollah

U.S. vs Iraq & Afghanistan & Al-Queda

West vs. Islam

Etc.

I deplore the fighting. I deplore the reasoning behind the fighting. I deplore the actions of those doing the fighting. I weep for the innocent dead, simply caught in the way, by virtue of their address.

I am not an activist. I do not trust the agendas of the systems in place to help those who are affected by the fighting. I do not trust the agendas of the fighters, or the players on the worlds stage. I don't know the issues well enough to take sides. I'm not personally affected.

So I sit behind my oceans, and I worry about my own, smaller problems, and try to help those locally that I can. In my land of plenty, I help the 'poor'. I hope that through syncronicity, my helping here will help there. I pray for peace, knowing it will not come.

While people die in a conflict not of their making.

But I am not an activist. I have my own problems, my own worries, my own issues closer to me. I'm one man, with limited time. What gesture can I make, what voice can I raise, that will help the dying and the endangered one bit? And who will listen?

And what business is it of mine? Even if I could get involved, should I? How do I know I wouldn't make it worse? Or worse yet, would I expend my efforts, my energy, on something that would have absolutely no effect? Simply to feel noble? To feel I was helping, these oceans away? My circle of influence does not extend so far.

The course of history tells me that after a period of prosperity, there is a period of upheaval. These local wars we see are a symptom of greater troubles to come, and many are saying
that those troubles have already begun.

On that stage, on that scale, can I have an effect?

Can you?

Even, if we were in agreement on the course of action, could we?

What about when the war comes home? When I realize the oceans won't save me? What should I do then?

I am not an activist. Maybe I should be.

3 comments:

Shawn™ said...

It is something we all struggle with, the feeling of insignificance in the face of such significant world affecting events.

What can we do? We can try and influence how our governments deal with these events by participating in peace protests etc... Operating by oneself is ultimately futile, but adding one more voice to thousands is worth something.

Ultimately, our governments will do as they see fit. I am not sure how you feel about your US government, but here in Canada we recently spent several billion dollars on the army. I abhor the need for violence and Canada's ramping up military abilities but it has an obligation to protect its citizens if were to come to that. Personally I feel the US foreign policies have much to do with the current situations but that is another hours long discussion. But then the region would probably have burst into flames on its own at some point anyway, perhaps not so well armed, but something would have happened regardless.

It is easy to have these discussions over here when our roofs are not falling on our heads. It was the same in the other World Wars as well.

I would caution you, however, not to fall prey to the mass hysteria and fear mongering of the media. As a clergy member, helping others see this for what it is would also be a contructive use of your time and influence.

IMHO of course.

Peace.

Juliana said...

Well said. I just sort of wanted to rage and get tearful on that day - the day I pored over the NY Times photo essay. The little feet, bound in plastic, covered in flowers...

Thank you for a poetic inquiry. I don't believe I can not be an activist now. The path of the contemplative is noble, and necessary. There is synchronicity. There is effect...

But I've ditched fence sitting. I must know the score well enough - despite the sullied sources and the lying - to make my own judgements. I must act.

If only from behind my ocean. If only to prepare...

sparkwidget said...

"We didn't start the fire, its been burnin' since the world's been turnin."

All wars are just leftover karmic backlash from the great Ug and Thog war of 1,587,654 BC. I agree with you that struggling with the world just feels silly and pointless. But then again, as you mention, when do we know its time to start worrying?